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The transformation of European economies from pre-capitalist to

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Intern
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Joined: 29 Jul 2017
Posts: 12

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 10

GMAT 1: 650 Q50 V27
The transformation of European economies from pre-capitalist to [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2017, 04:34
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Question 2
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40% (02:25) correct 60% (00:57) wrong based on 81

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The transformation of European economies from pre-capitalist to capitalist, between the 16th and 18th centuries, is often portrayed as a process that followed the iron logic of the pursuit of economic self-interest by all its participants, with traders acting as the primary catalysts for the transition.

In fact, this portrayal neglects a crucial element of the pre-capitalist, subsistence-oriented economic production—namely, its tendency for self-perpetuation. Self-interest dictated that both the peasants and the feudal lords maintain the pattern of diversified subsistence production rather than embark on specialized production for exchange. The peasants were owners of the land on which they farmed, and did not yet have to face threats of competition for land leases or eviction by the landowners, common in the era of capitalist economic organization. They produced nearly everything they needed in order to survive and had little incentive to abandon their economic autonomy. As for the feudal lords, they lived off the surplus produced by the peasants, which they easily commandeered by force of arms rather than by economic means. It can be argued that they also had little incentive to change this arrangement.

Yet despite the strong force of inertia evident in pre-capitalist economic arrangements, they ultimately gave way to a new capitalist system of production, even though this process was more unevenly paced in different countries than is sometimes assumed. There is a very general explanation for this whose central tenet is that while the pre-capitalist economist actors strove to perpetuate the system of subsistence production, some of the actions they chose in pursuit of this goal had the unintended consequence of undermining the very system they wanted to preserve and ushering in an economic revolution.

1. According to the passage, what is the main flaw of the traditional portrayal of the transition from pre-capitalist to capitalist economies in Europe?

A) It falsely represents the capitalist mode of production as both a goal and a product of economic self-interest.

B) It does not account for the uneven pace of the transition in different European countries.

C) It assumes that the economic power wielded over peasants by traders was exercised more benevolently than that of feudal lords.

D) It assumes that the economic processes of innovation and specialization are driven by economic self-interest.

E) It denies the importance of innovation for pre-capitalist producers.


2. Which of the following would be a likely place where one could find this passage?

A) As the conclusion of an essay criticizing the inequities of the capitalist system of production.

B) As a part of a review of a book that presents as its main thesis that transition to capitalism was a goal of economic producers.

C) As a part of a larger article arguing that the waning of the chivalric virtue carried by pre-capitalist lords is to be lamented.

D) As an introduction to a fuller description of a new historical model of transition to capitalism.

E) As a short correction of views expressed earlier in a recent longer article by the same author.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 10

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Intern
Intern
User avatar
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Joined: 29 Jul 2017
Posts: 12

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 10

GMAT 1: 650 Q50 V27
Re: The transformation of European economies from pre-capitalist to [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2017, 04:37
To all Experts,
I find it very hard to tackle these type of passages within given time frame. Any tips/method on how to tackle these type of RCs?

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Location: India
Concentration: Operations, Marketing
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WE: Manufacturing and Production (Manufacturing)
Re: The transformation of European economies from pre-capitalist to [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2017, 09:44
1. According to the passage, what is the main flaw of the traditional portrayal of the transition from pre-capitalist to capitalist economies in Europe?

A) It falsely represents the capitalist mode of production as both a goal and a product of economic self-interest.

B) It does not account for the uneven pace of the transition in different European countries.

C) It assumes that the economic power wielded over peasants by traders was exercised more benevolently than that of feudal lords.

D) It assumes that the economic processes of innovation and specialization are driven by economic self-interest.

The answer to the above question is A

Yet despite the strong force of inertia evident in pre-capitalist economic arrangements, they ultimately gave way to a new capitalist system of production, even though this process was more unevenly paced in different countries than is sometimes assumed. There is a very general explanation for this whose central tenet is that while the pre-capitalist economist actors strove to perpetuate the system of subsistence production, some of the actions they chose in pursuit of this goal had the unintended consequence of undermining the very system they wanted to preserve and ushering in an economic revolution
_________________

We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality

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Re: The transformation of European economies from pre-capitalist to [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2017, 01:52
reading and understanding the passage is not hard. but the question is hard because it require us to infer a lot. this case is normally not typical in gmat rc, where reading passage is harder and inference for answering questions is more easy.

it takes me a long time to make inference.

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 310

Re: The transformation of European economies from pre-capitalist to   [#permalink] 19 Sep 2017, 01:52
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